The age in which we live is so ridiculously hectic. Often we operate on automatic pilot, and forget to stop and "smell the roses" as the old adage goes. But as ancient as that saying is, so is the idea of how important it is to do so. In a world that runs amok with everything technological and non-personal ... we need to find our personal center, one which allows us to be present, to pay attention so that life is experienced. Thus, the term "Mindfulness" comes into being ... a practice that can enable everyone to live in the present moment -- from grandparents to moms, dads, and children.
What is Mindfulness you ask? Why is it important? What are the benefits? And how can it be incorporated? The answer is simple:
When you practice mindfulness, you learn to pay attention to what is happening in the present moment, without worrying about the past, or what may happen in the future. Mindfulness encourages you to accept and observe where you are and how you are feeling; to respond to a situation, rather than to react; and to let go of judgments. Many people practice mindfulness meditation, but the most important element for a grandparent is to focus and be attentive when you are with your grandchildren, to not be distracted, and to enjoy the precious moments of just being together. The key is being "present". Check out "Mindful Monday" every week on www.grandparentslink.com, the Home of Mindful Grandparenting.
Here are a few ways to practice mindfulness with your grandchildren:
-- Take a walk together. Notice the sounds, smell the flowers, feel the grass under your feet.
-- Use the cell phone only for emergencies, and not when you are spending time with them. Enjoy your together moments.
-- If your grandchildren experience anxiety or become upset over a particular situation, take a few moments to pause. Just stop, let them breathe, calm down, and then move forward.
-- Listen to your grandchildren. Ask them about their highs and lows of the day without commenting. Listening is so very important. Who doesn't want to be heard?
-- Remember you are the role model. Mind your manners and be respectful, and they will learn good habits from you.
-- Shed your inhibitions, and play with your grand children. They like to pretend, to dance, to sing. Join them. Let their joy be your joy!
Practicing mindfulness is an effective way to enjoy the journey in life. Try it!